As part of a $200 million program, BP completes the upgrade of its petrochemical facility near Charleston, South Carolina. The modernization project will reportedly allow the site to reduce electricity use by 40% and cut carbon emissions by approximately 109,000 tons per year – equivalent to eliminating the electricity and heating emissions of about 2,000 typical U.S. households – while also boosting production by 10%.
The improvements will also allow BP to produce PTAir – a new low-carbon brand of purified terephthalic acid, a raw material used to make polyester, as well as PTAir Neutral, a certified carbon-neutral PTA, which will use offsets like reforestation projects to help customers meet net zero-carbon targets. BP introduced both products in Europe in 2016 and now is bringing them to the U.S.
The last milestone of the project, which reportedly created about 400 local construction jobs over more than two years, came with the recent start-up of a new oxidation reactor, the largest in the U.S, according to BP. The reactor is an important unit in the processing of PTA.
BP’s global petrochemicals strategy is focused on pursuing a competitively advantaged portfolio through world-scale, low-cost facilities that use BP proprietary technology. In support of this strategy, BP invested to upgrade its Cooper River plant and a sister facility in Geel, Belgium. In 2015, BP also started up the Zhuhai 3 unit in Guangdong Province, China.
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